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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 26.24%
Average: 15.6%
Pretty Bad: 4.26%
Total Crap: 10.64%

6 reviews, 105 user ratings

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Sexy Beast
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by Derek Smith

"Worth seeing for Kingsley's powerful performance but not much else."
3 stars

In the same spirit as films such as The Limey comes Sexy Beast, a stylized film full of cockney accents, quirky criminals, and Ben Kingsley’s most powerful performance since Ghandi.

Rather than focusing on the crimes themselves, it takes a satirical look at a man recently released from prison trying to leave the crime life behind. It is both smart and funny at times but never seems to go anywhere.

The film starts with Gal (Ray Winstone), a retired criminal, living the good life in Spain enjoying his gorgeous wife (Amanda Redman) and enormous house. His wealth and comfort was obtained through the very same life he wishes to leave behind and the hardened criminals he worked with in the past will not let him go so easily. As he stands by the edge of the pool, a boulder rolls down the mountain behind his house and nearly squashes him. They always say “You might be through with the past, but the past’s not through with you.”

Gal’s perfect life is turned upside-down when his friends inform him that Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) is paying him a visit. The look of fear on all their faces is priceless and you immediately know that Don Logan is not to be reckoned with. The mere mention of his name sends shivers down their back. Gal is told that Logan’s boss, Teddy Bass (Ian McShane), is sending Logan to meet him to request him for a job. A request from Don Logan is more like a demand.

From all the talk of Logan and how intimidating he is, it’s rather amusing when we realize he’s played by Ben Kingsley, who is all of 5’8” and famous for his Oscar-winning portrayal of the ultimate pacifist, Mahatma Ghandi. As soon as he opens his mouth, however, we realize that the fear is valid. He has a quick, sharp tongue and a way of making people nervous when only asking for a glass of water. Refusing to take no for an answer, he becomes a menace to Gal and his family and a haunting symbol of the life Gal left behind. Logan has a way of speaking that leaves no room for argument. The second Gal says “No” Logan shoots a powerful “Yes! Yes!” right back at him. An intense power washes over his face and all his anger is stored in the vein popping out of his forehead. It is the conviction and persistence in his voice, rather than brawn that make Logan one of the most intimidating villains in recent cinema.

Events, of which I will not mention so as not to spoil the film, occur that force Gal to accept the job. At this point the conflict between him and Don Logan is over and the film unravels and loses purpose. All of the conflict and drama came through the terror in the air prior to Logan’s arrival and the interaction between Logan and Gal. Once that conflict was ended so was my interest in the film and its characters. It’s purpose was to show a man haunted by his past, a man who could not escape the life he chose many years ago because those more powerful than him would not let it happen.

The job itself has no purpose or meaning other than to carry the film to the 90-minute mark. I will say that the robbery was done in an interesting and original way but it made no substantial difference to the end result of the film. I wanted more of Logan in some way, shape, or form but that relief never came. The first two-thirds of the film is very strong and interesting, full of satire and menacing criminals. Unfortunately a film must be judged as a whole and the last 30 minutes of Sexy Beast were too disappointing to make it a very good film overall.

Simply to see Kingsley’s brilliant performance, however underwritten it may be, it is probably worth a viewing but the last act lacks the excitement and energy that carried the first hour. It had a potential to be a very good film but fizzled out by the time the credits rolled. *** out of *****

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originally posted: 04/03/02 07:53:41
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User Comments

2/25/21 morris campbell not bad kingsley is great 4 stars
2/05/18 Barbara Leaf Worst Ben Kinsgley movie I have ever seen. He is wasted in this role. What a shame 1 stars
1/21/18 Todd Excellent movie. Gets better with every viewing. 5 stars
5/17/17 Louise (the real one) Hard-hitting. strong stuff - despite the lame title. 4 stars
10/13/12 kiran bc so nice 4 stars
4/05/12 mehedi Overrated, decent concept though horribly tiresome genre (gangster, haven't we seen enough) 5 stars
9/26/11 asg Try to forget Kingsley in this...try. 5 stars
3/26/10 Tony Arnold Superb film...sexey, exciting, scary and well crafted 5 stars
8/09/09 s pandy good 5 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting Movie! 5 stars
10/11/08 brian YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!!! 4 stars
9/25/08 parasvati great film, and (surprise!) a lovely love story-- but a very, very dark take on life-- 5 stars
8/07/08 tom palmer very very good. 5 stars
1/19/08 india good 5 stars
10/20/07 kunjesh i want to seen a sexy film 5 stars
9/24/07 Jim Zebo Great. but he didn't have to piss on the floor and why didn't someone (the kid?) kill him. 4 stars
7/26/07 parasvati full of cognitive dissonance, creepy, but really, really good 4 stars
7/12/07 Edward Shandis I'm a sexy beast!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/08/07 sammy lovely film 5 stars
1/26/07 Artist Bill had to watch again to understand....Gritty!! 4 stars
11/25/06 alan price a chilling insite to the mind of a psycho. 5 stars
10/13/06 Manni nice movie 4 stars
7/09/06 sreedhar so beautiful 1 stars
6/22/06 Jack Sommersby Good-looking but empty and derivative. 1 stars
5/31/06 stephanie willis Ben Kingsley, as you've never seen him 4 stars
12/05/05 fred definitely worth it, even if only for kingsley's explosive and rabid performance 5 stars
7/27/05 Indrid Cold The browbeating delivered by Kingsley becomes hilarious, and not in a particularly good way 3 stars
6/09/05 Bluto Ian McShane as Teddy was best, scary guy 5 stars
1/27/05 MyGreenBed Overrated, decent concept though horribly tiresome genre (gangster, haven't we seen enough) 3 stars
1/06/05 Asaad very nice 1 stars
11/19/04 brenda jones disturbing 1 stars
11/04/04 suresh sexey movies 2 stars
11/02/04 LIly's mom Superb, original, all good performances, fun 5 stars
10/03/04 Daveman Overrated, no substance beneath the style, but it's too "cool" to dismiss completely. 3 stars
8/06/04 DM Ben Kingsley kicks ass; but what happened to the rest of the movie? 3 stars
6/21/04 Dick Logan Great film, great directing, Kingsley is the bomb!! 5 stars
4/27/04 dung your best film 4 stars
3/16/04 Deanna from Indiana understated Winstone cool, Kingsley terrific. No spoon fed plots here 5 stars
3/07/04 malcolm you've got to like this movie. yes, you do. come on, then. yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes 4 stars
2/24/04 Jonni Fantastic cinematography. Great story 5 stars
1/23/04 steve Booth Just to watch Ben Kingsley and the fear he puts into the other cast members without doing a 5 stars
1/21/04 tatum Great direction hides standard script 4 stars
12/28/03 bert bakker No story and no suspence in a wink of an eye. 2 stars
10/04/03 Alfred C. No...I think you're going to have to turn this movie YES!!...Great film...can't get enough! 5 stars
10/01/03 nick Ben Kinsley is a master chameleon. Best movie of the year for me! 5 stars
9/22/03 kill quacky the title sounds gay 4 stars
6/12/03 Logan, Don What's that cunt 5 stars
5/08/03 Alexander McDowell This filmes is the most terrifici film of Ben Kingsley 5 stars
4/20/03 Goofy Maxwell Cocksure gangster cum demonic rabbit goes off on Cockney crook wit da rocks to roll da mob. 4 stars
4/17/03 rx dx stellar performance. not an action film, but an outstanding character film. 5 stars
4/14/03 LIAM JACKSON ben kingsley rocked! he proves a point: if someone is disrespecting you,fucking batter them 5 stars
4/01/03 Dave Cliched, but stylish gangster movie that puts overrated films like Lock Stock to shame. 4 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Overly mannered, cliche-ridden crime flick. Showy camerawork is only asset. 1 stars
2/08/03 natasha_theobald brilliant performances, amazing things to see, wit and menace 5 stars
1/29/03 spacecowboy intense 5 stars
12/27/02 RAVIKUMAR I LOVE MOVIES 2 stars
10/30/02 Bluto Teddy scared me 5 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Great no worries. 5 stars
9/18/02 Andy Hards A return to the classic British Gangster Movie, Ben Kingsley still scares me 5 stars
9/11/02 Francofile Some of the most gut-level, plausible fear ever on screen. Raw, mature performances. 4 stars
8/19/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) I don't know why people were saying it was so scary. It's actually funny...on purpose! 3 stars
8/18/02 Larry O'Connor Perfect casting 5 stars
8/09/02 billywood always be good 2 stars
7/12/02 ran bad 5 stars
7/12/02 Katrina Disappointing, actually 3 stars
5/23/02 Adrian Kingsley is Scary! 5 stars
5/15/02 Peet A perfect film, beautifully written, acted, shot and directed. 5 stars
5/13/02 Caiphn I had to turn the subtitles on. What's with the rabbit? 4 stars
4/29/02 zxy ok 5 stars
4/13/02 John Watson "Phil M. Afficianado" stick to video games 4 stars
4/06/02 Dave MacDougall i couldn't understand a word...and i still liked it... 3 stars
4/02/02 Gemini Not too bad. Kingsley is great and so is Winstone. The movie worked out great. 5 stars
3/24/02 dave vousden brilliant, life like 5 stars
3/22/02 The Bomb 69 need subtitles to enjoy, not much about the caper itself but strong performances 5 stars
3/19/02 Spyguy2 Watch it on DVD and add subtitles...quirky, cool little film...Kingsley is an amazing actor 4 stars
3/18/02 john b excellent 4 stars
3/16/02 Gold Medal No Ghandi here 4 stars
3/13/02 Phil M. Afficianado very nearly total crap; dialog unintelligible and pointless flick. 2 stars
3/13/02 ĚäÓ ma_2003 3 stars
3/07/02 Ike The BEST 5 stars
2/19/02 sd good score as well 4 stars
1/21/02 BumperFish The best movie I've seen this year! 5 stars
1/05/02 Lesley I loved it. 5 stars
12/06/01 Linda Frost Excellent film.. 4 stars
11/24/01 Ellis Best film of the year 5 stars
10/25/01 Bill Gains Very good, but not as good (read: violent) as Gangster No. 1 5 stars
10/24/01 tom turley thats sexy 4 stars
9/25/01 bluebeena Interesting... hard to understand at times. 4 stars
8/29/01 Benjamin Allen Very Good, Great Camera Work 4 stars
8/28/01 Kooler extraordinary performances from Kingsley et al 5 stars
8/24/01 stan a much better than average film 4 stars
8/23/01 Kevin I wish I could get that 2 hours of my life back 1 stars
8/18/01 matthew smith kingsley adds a touch of menace that goes under your skin 4 stars
7/27/01 Reverend Krule Chilling watching kingsley at work. brilliant film 5 stars
7/20/01 skye lots of fun. original. evenifwedon'tknowwhat'sgoingon.orwhy.orbelieveit.ben's scary! 3 stars
7/15/01 malcolm Kingsley is incredible. much of dialogue is hard to understand w/heavy English accents. 4 stars
7/10/01 Ed Jepson Hypnotic 5 stars
7/05/01 Gronk U Lator Powerhouse Kingsley performance. Everything else is windowdressing. 4 stars
7/05/01 Newmarket Movie Warrior The worst piece of trash I have ever had to pay $12.50 plus tax to see! 1 stars
6/23/01 Silly Me Kingsley is awesome but the movie is awful and a waste of time. 2 stars
6/19/01 Heather Ignore the morons who have posted here, Kingsley is amazing, definitely one to look out for 5 stars
6/15/01 Denis Pedregosa Superb 5 stars
5/28/01 Vandemaele Kurt Nothing really new but Winstone is a winner and Kingsley is kingsize 4 stars
1/29/01 rubber This was the worst movie I've seen in a long time,it's nothing but a stretched out TV drama 1 stars
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  13-Jun-2001 (R)


  16-Aug-2001 (MA)

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